Europa League success would be huge but Wolves face big test, says Mel Eves
Mel Eves says Europa League success would make it ‘far easier’ for Wolves to carry on Fosun’s project – but warns Olympiacos cannot be overlooked.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are welcoming the Greek champions to Molineux for a last-16 second-leg encounter tomorrow (8pm).
They also know that winning the competition, which would seal a Champions League spot, is the only way to guarantee European football again for next season.
Club owners Fosun have stated their desire to become a force both domestically and in Europe, and Eves – who scored 53 goals in 214 appearances for Wolves – said: “I can’t see an advantage with any of the lads jumping ship, so to speak, if Wolves were to win it.
“It’s a big ‘if’, to win the Europa League in a few weeks in Germany, but it would make it far easier to carry on the project.
“Speculation will surround some of the players.
“There is a lot of conjecture, and that’s all part of the game, the world we’re in.
“But you’ve got to have steady influences at clubs, and there isn’t anyone better than Nuno.
“You’re not going to get him speaking about anything until it is appropriate to.
“We didn’t get a helping hand from Chelsea, but it’s back in our own hands now.
“And the first thing is to get through tomorrow night.
“It’s always a case of a game at a time.”
Wolves drew the first leg with Olympiacos 1-1 in Greece, so will go through on away goals if it ends goalless tomorrow.
Pedro Martins’ side have firepower, though, as proven when they knocked Arsenal out of the competition in February.
“They’ve come over here and beaten Arsenal, knocked them out,” said Eves.
“That’s the same Arsenal that have just won the FA Cup, and who did a really good job on us a month ago at Molineux.
“So, this is not going to be easy at all.
“Wolves have the advantage, knowing Olympiacos have to score, but it’s dangerous going into a game and just looking for a clean sheet, although Nuno and Rui Patricio have a great record.
“Wolves go into it as favourites, but only slight favourites.
“Olympiacos are the glamour team as far as Greece is concerned, and they’re going to show some gladiatorial qualities, you would think.
“That’s the Greek DNA, so this isn’t going to be easy.”